Mayer Brown saw modest growth in 2015, with gross revenue increasing 2.8 percent, to $1.257 billion, while revenue per lawyer inched up 1.2 percent, to $835,000. Profits per equity partner rose a healthy 7.6 percent, to $1.56 million.
The firm’s lawyer head count increased slightly, rising 1.4 percent to 1,507. The number of equity partners rose 2.1 percent, to 286, and the nonequity partner ranks declined less than 1 percent, to 321. Average compensation for all partners rose 7.9 percent, to $890,000.
“We’re very happy with our year,” said chairman Paul Theiss, who noted that the firm’s results were dampened by unfavorable currency exchange rates. Nearly half of Mayer Brown’s lawyers are overseas. Although lawyer hours were up 4 percent in 2015, he said, this only translated into a revenue increase of less than 3 percent.
Theiss noted that a majority of the firm’s top clients are taking advantage of Mayer Brown’s global footprint. “More than 50 percent of our top 100 clients turned to us in all three of our regions,” he said, referring to the firm’s operations in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Mayer Brown continues to expand its activity abroad. In August the firm announced that it had obtained formal approval from The Law Society of Hong Kong to form a nonexclusive association with a leading mainland Chinese law firm, Jingtian & Gongcheng. Headquartered in Beijing, Jingtian has offices in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu and Hong Kong.
The two firms are already jointly serving clients inside and outside China, and Jingtian is providing referrals, Theiss said. Clients include a real estate and media conglomerate investing in a Hollywood business, and a China-based online retailer that is purchasing a majority stake in a U.S. apparel business, according to Mayer Brown.
The firm also opened a small office in Mexico City last year for energy clients. It will be opening an office in Dubai later this year.
Mayer Brown added 32 lateral partners in 2015, including Raj De, the former general counsel of the National Security Agency, who now heads the firm’s cybersecurity and data privacy practice. The firm also brought in Mark Ryan, the former director of antitrust litigation at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Klaus Riehmer, the leader of Mayer Brown’s corporate and M&A practice in Germany, who joined from Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.